She Poured Out Her Heart
Jean discusses how the music of Prince helped her write sex scenes in She Poured Out Her Heart for Largehearted Boy’s Book Notes blog.
Tracing the complicated friendship of two very different women who meet in college, She Poured Out Her Heart is a novel of remarkable psychological suspense, crafted by National Book Award finalist Jean Thompson.
The night that Jane and Bonnie meet on a college campus sets them on paths forever entwined. Bonnie, the wild and experimental one, always up for anything, has spent the past two decades bouncing between ill-fated relationships, while Jane’s seemingly perfect life, perfect husband, and perfect children have all but materialized out of a fantasy. But these appearances contradict the quiet, inescapable doubt Jane feels about her life. One night, in the middle of her own Christmas party, she steps outside into the snow, removes her clothing and shoes, and lies down in the backyard. When she is discovered, nothing is the same for anyone. As Jane begins to have visions and retreat into a private inner world, Bonnie finds herself drawn inevitably into an affair with Jane’s husband.
Thompson’s mastery of complex emotion begets a novel of desire and the nature of love—who we love, how we’re loved, and, most important, that we reach urgently and always for a higher love, regardless of our circumstances. She Poured Out Her Heart is a finely wrought, haunting story of female friendship and deception, and the distance in between.
“Unexpected and gripping… that most engrossing of beasts, a novel about sex… written with Thompson’s typical verve and gusto.”
— Julie Myerson, New York Times Book Review
“With piercing empathy and incandescent humor, Thompson considers the riddles of sexual passion and love, self and change, loyalty and forgiveness, forging an engrossing novel of crackling insights and ambushing drama.”
— Donna Seaman, Booklist
“Thompson’s best effort yet…a tense, artful, rich and involving novel that strips the world down to its bones and also makes you care deeply for the two women whose lives it lays bare.”
— Julia Keller, The National Book Review
“In a less capable writer’s hands, it would be easy to know who to root for and who to condemn in this awkward love triangle, but Thompson muddies our ideas about culpability and blame. In doing so, she elevates a plot that might have the makings of a soap opera into a nuanced study of marriage and friendship, fidelity and deceit, and our lonesome search for meaningful connection.”
— Christi Clancy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel